Now that the cooler months are here, keeping the kids active can be a challenge. Sitting on the couch, playing video games or watching TV can be so tempting when the weather outside isn’t pleasant, but allowing them to sit around won’t do them any favours. According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, kids need at least an hour of exercise a day.
Thankfully, keeping the kids active while having fun this time of year is possible with these indoor sports:
Basketball – If you’re looking for a fun team sport that promotes team work, basketball is a great choice. Basketball teaches kids how to work well with others and be more assertive while improving physical fitness and coordination. Many local gyms, community centres and school programs offer basketball classes and groups. Look for a team with a positive coach who will keep it fun and light while teaching team building skills.
Floor Hockey – Like ice hockey, floor hockey is a team sport that’s fun, exciting and fast-paced. It’s also an excellent cardio workout. Unlike ice hockey, you don’t need to know how to skate, and it can be played anywhere with a suitable indoor surface. Keep in mind that while this sport doesn’t require expensive equipment like ice skates, it does still require protective gear including a helmet, shin guards and padding as well as a stick.
Indoor Soccer – Soccer teaches kids about teamwork by promoting cooperation and developing positive social skills while building agility, confidence, stronger bones and stronger muscles. Soccer may traditionally be played outdoors during the warmer months, but there are several indoor soccer teams available thanks to sport domes and community centres. Check your local recreation guide for more information.
Gymnastics – Team sports, like hockey and basketball, aren’t for everyone. Gymnastics is an organized sport that helps kids learn how their body works through activities that develop flexibility, balance, coordination and discipline all while enhancing their overall health. Look for a supportive gymnastics club that encourages teamwork and puts a strong emphasis on having fun.
Yoga – Yoga enhances flexibility, strength and coordination. It also improves relaxation and concentration which can help kids deal with school-related anxieties such as tests and social pressures. Many local yoga studios offer classes for kids that are interactive and fun through a variation of games, poses and breathing exercises.
Swimming – Swimming is not only a positive recreational activity to enjoy as a family and an indispensable lifesaving skill to learn, but is one of the best forms of exercise as it incorporates several different parts of the body without stressing the joints. This is a terrific activity for kids who may have arthritis or asthma. Many YMCA’s have regular indoor swimming lessons and casual family swim times available.
You don’t have to battle frigid winds and precipitation to keep kids active during the winter months. There are plenty of indoor sport alternatives available that will keep the entire family off the couch and healthy regardless of the temperatures outside.